JOL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (JOCDA)
Our Ref:____________ Your Ref:_________ Date:_23-08-2020
THE OFFICE OF THE SENIOR ASSISTANT TO
THE PRESIDENT ON SDGs (OSSAP-SDGS),
SUITE 201 FLOOR, BLOCK A,
FEDERAL SECRETARIAT COMPLEX PHASE 2,
SHEHU SHAGARI WAY, ABUJA.
CONCERNS AND SUGGESTIONS OF CUSTOMARY LANDOWNERS OVER THEIR PETITION on SDGs SCHOOL PROJECT AT RANKUM(MAHANGA) FOR POSSIBLE RESOLUTION
Following a meeting summoned by your organization on 17th August, 2020 between the customary landowners and Fulani herdsmen for possible resolution over a petition dated 18th June, 2020 and a rejoinder by the Fulani herdsmen, it becomes pertinent at this juncture to reiterate the following concerns including but not limited to-
- There was neither consultation nor consent of the customary landowners before, during and after the project execution by your good offices.
- As the school project stands, it tends to legitimize and condone conquest of Fulani herdsmen over known Berom hamlets/villages in Jol Community.
- The plight of the displaced persons, particularly from Rankum is yet to receive any form of attention, succor or assistance from SDGs.
- The erroneous reference to Rankum as “Mahanga Village” is an unacceptable distortion of the community history of the people of Jol.
In our view therefore, the following suggestions should be considered in the interest of justice, peace and harmonious coexistence
- That the SDGs office, in the present circumstances, should formally and transparently provide evidence on this project showing records and documents on meetings/consultations with relevant stakeholders, land agreement(s), authorization of the name of the project, participation of Riyom Local Government authorities, traditional rulers among others to the customary landowners through Riyom Local Government Council.
- That SDGs should provide explanation regarding the circumstances surrounding the initiation and quick execution of this personalized project to the utter exclusion of the customary landowners while the COVID-19 lockdown lasted.
- That SDGs should not only provide the background to this abnormal name of the school “Ardo Mamuda Primary School” but also stop using “Mahanga” for Rankum in the Project File.
- In the interest of fair play, SDGs should sponsor the rebuilding of the destroyed and sacked hamlets/villages belonging to the customary landowners in and around Rankum.
- That Fulani should desist from making false claims of traditional landownership over Rankum, Rotchun (Rafin Acha) as well as Janda 1 & 2 among others.
- The Fulani should respect and demonstrate loyalty to the Berom traditional authority over Rankum hamlet.
- The Fulani herdsmen should be held responsible for any attack on hamlets/villages, farmlands and bush-paths particularly as a result of the petition over school project built by SDGs at Rankum.
- Assuming the school remains, Government should properly document the history, the customary landowners and the correct name of the school in the interest of justice.
In conclusion, Government action and policy at all levels should assure displaced customary landowners that their traditional and customary rights over land is not lost to land grabbers. Finally, displaced customary landowners deserve the assistance and support of Government and its agencies such as the SDGs.
Da Dalyop Dangyang Hon. Joshua Adamu Bashash
(Acting Chairman of JOCDA) (Transition Committee Councilor, Jol Ward)
Phone No. 08132404989 Phone No. 07034252810